The Arizona chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Arizona legislature ended the legislative session without passing a dangerous gun lobby priority. The bills that were moving through the legislative session included HB 2316, legislation to force guns in public spaces; HB 2414, legislation to force loaded guns in school parking lots; SB 1123/HB 2447, legislation to force guns on campuses; SB 1125, legislation aimed at nullifying gun safety laws; HB 2448, legislation to require kids in public schools go through the National Rifle Association’s “Eddie Eagle” program; and SB 1252 and SB 1650, two pieces of legislation to expand the state’s dangerous ‘Shoot First’ law. All of these bills would have further weakened gun laws in the state – which already ranks 43rd in gun law strength in the country.
“It’s no small feat to come away with a win in the Arizona statehouse on gun violence prevention,” said Teresa Neiberg, a volunteer with the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While ending this session without further weakening our gun laws is a victory for gun safety, our goal is always to proactively address gun violence by passing life-saving gun safety bills. We want to live in a state where gun violence doesn’t steal the lives of our friends, family, and neighbors. That’s why we’ll continue to work over the summer and into the next session. The fight doesn’t end here.”
During the session, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action volunteers and supporters drove over 15,000 emails to legislators this session in opposition to dangerous measures this session. Volunteers testified and advocated in hearings in opposition to these bills and hosted an advocacy day at the statehouse in January where they held meetings with a dozen lawmakers on their priorities and the importance of gun safety.
Next session, lawmakers should build on this success and push proactive bills to address the gun violence epidemic in the state with measures to address domestic violence. Arizonans overwhelmingly support domestic violence legislation and polling found that Arizonans overwhelmingly support stronger gun laws by an 8:1 margin – including a bill to disarm domestic abusers.
Statistics about gun violence in Arizona are available here. Everytown’s interactive gun law platform — which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths — is available here. To ask questions or request an interview with a volunteer from Arizona Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.